Ravenscroft Reserve Initiative announces intention to save South Slope Urban Forest

Press release from Ravenscroft Reserve Initiative:

The mission of Ravenscroft Reserve Initiative is to foster an appreciation of urban forestry and preserve the half acre of urban forest located at 11 Collier Avenue in the South Slope of downtown Asheville. This unique area of intact wilderness is home to 22 mature oaks, a bee colony and other native wildlife.

Our supporters include the South Slope Neighborhood Association @SouthSlopeNeighborhoodAssociation, Asheville GreenWorks @ashevillegreenworks, Asheville’s Urban Forestry Commission, the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County, the Sierra Club of WNC @wncsierraclub, the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society @emasnc.org, the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods, the N.C. Forest Service’s Urban Forestry, the Tree Protection Task Force and more.

The property owners, Tribute Properties, are currently pursuing City approval for constructing an apartment building on the property which would sacrifice all of the mature trees. At the same time, they have offered to sell the forest to RRI for preservation purposes rather than build on the lot. They are willing to do this for $600,000.

According to a Tree Evaluation Report conducted by Monty Wooten of Greenleaf Forest Management, this property is a “singular occurrence in the hardscape of the city center area. The stand also serves several ecosystem functions such as cleaning air, sequestering carbon, moderating noise, mitigating heat island effect, and capturing stormwater runoff. As such, these trees serve the citizens of this neighborhood and of the entire city.” Further, “Although this property contains 0.5% of the land mass, it accounts for almost 12% of the tree canopy in the [94 acre] study area.”

Our vision is for this intact urban wilderness to continue in its natural state as a conservation area and passive park, protected with a permanent conservation easement. A softscape trail with a bench or two will provide a peaceful oasis under the trees in the middle of an otherwise concrete city area.

RRI anticipates informative, decorative signage for visitors about the trees themselves and the historical significance of the area that should be a destination for anyone to enjoy, reconnect with nature, and breathe.

Stay tuned for updates at Ravenscroft Reserve Initiative on Facebook and Instagram @ravenscroftreserveinitiative. Become a Friend of RRI by making a donation to our charitable Gofundme: https://tinyurl.com/vj3ytcf.

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